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Litigation

1999

Rule 14a-8

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Shareholder Derivative Litigation And Corporate Governance, Mark J. Loewenstein Jan 1999

Shareholder Derivative Litigation And Corporate Governance, Mark J. Loewenstein

Articles

In approving settlements of derivative actions that include fees for plaintiff's attorney, courts typically announce that attorney's fees are approved if a substantial benefit is obtained. In fact, courts, particularly Delaware courts, approve settlements in shareholder derivative actions that included substantial fees for plaintiff's attorney, despite the absence of a corresponding benefit to the corporation. Frequently, the "benefit" obtained is a reform in corporate governance, which is of dubious value to the corporation. To deter frivolous litigation, courts should resist the temptation to approve these settlements just to dispose of the litigation. The paper concludes that fees ...